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Big J

Continuing the theme of 'pimp my forwarder'....

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Brainstorming this evening ideas for ways to deal with on site brash first resulted in the idea for a bed mounted branch logger. This is perhaps not a brilliant idea, but is certainly worth exploring. 

 

However, I'm increasingly wondering if a bed mounted, independently powered chipper with an 8 inch capacity might be a very handy tool. 

 

So, would a low impact machine, weighing less than 3 tonnes with a powerful chipper and a crane to feed it be a useful proposition? I could see a lot of work with utility companies as I'm low enough to work under power lines.

 

I'd start with a reasonable second hand diesel chipper. Perhaps one that's on a fast tow chassis, but the trailer part of it is beyond repair. Then have a custom frame fabricated with a turntable so that it can be fed from either side. Maybe a (wired) remote control for off/on, throttle etc so that it can be controlled from the forwarder cab. 

 

Thoughts?

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You will have problems with a crane that can breach the vicinity zone working around network operator’s apparatus from a compliance perspective unfortunately.

A tracked 8’’ chipper is under 2 tonnes and is also low impact, and crane feeding this size machine isn’t really economically viable. It won’t speed up production unfortunately (manpower will feed this sized machine faster than a crane) - you should aim at removing manual handling and the risk of slips/trips/falls if you are trying to find a market for such a device IMO. 

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Hmmm, fair enough. 

 

I just hate lifting things manually when I have a machine that could do it for me. I could crane feed a chipper for 12 hours a day, but not by hand.

 

Thanks for the heads up on the utility side of things.

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Another problem u might have is transporting the chipper to site?

The way ur set up the now u can fit legally on a trailer but probably don't have masses of wieght to spare, i'm guessing a chipper would put u over?

Althou probably not a massive job to fit hydralic legs (already got a hydralic pump on ur chipper) onto ur chipper that could lift itself up and u drive into it either with trailer for transport or forwarder

 

Must admit i don't know anything about power line work, but does monkey business above realise its only a mini forwarder?? Wot is the maximum hieght ur crane can reach

I'm not entirely sure ur crane would breech the vincinity zone with its size. But i'm also not sure on the regs for eleccy line work either

 

But untill u get into 12-14+" chippers its hardly worth crane feeding, chipper hopper/throat is so small to aim for (take a load of skill and be very fiddly)  plus the size of stick ur dealing with probably won't be long enough for u to feed the chipper without hitting it with ur grab.

It might be handy to move piles closer thou but again with only a few m's reach probably not make a massive difference either way.

by time chipper has chipped 1 arm full gives u time to drag another over, esp if 2 of u which there likely would be.

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Transporting the chipper would be an issue, yes. It would require separate transport to the forwarder.

 

As you and many others have said, the main issue is that it's not going to be worth crane feeding a small chipper. 

 

The reach on the crane is 4.2m, so total height of the machine with crane extended vertically is about 5m I'd guess.

 

Maybe back to branch logging?! 😄

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It's higher than i thought so monkey will be right enough about boom's and vicinity zones.

 

Could u make some sort of off road low ground pressure trailer or sledge for the chipper and just hire in a towed 1 as and when u need and mount it on its own trailer/sledge?

I'd imagine a trailer would be better as sledges can/do mark the ground if wet/sensitive esp if a bit of wieght on it.

Pulled tracked chippers around on sledges before on very wet sites as they would of sank out of site just on there tracks

Edited by drinksloe

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I can see the logic in your desire to harvest what otherwise would be a waste product, I dislike any sort of waste also, however I would be extremely cautious about the actual ROI. 

 

It's so easy to get swept along with the impetus of an idea and before you know it you are spending a lot of time, effort and money on an enterprise that may not have the legs.

 

A friend of mine planned to embark on a similar venture to you on the woodland management side and planned to have the equipment fabricated. Of course that was always going to be cost prohibitive and he didn't progress the idea.

 

Branch logger - never ever will that give you anything other than beer money - sorry but just analyse the footage and the labour content is massive. 

 

I see there is the opportunity to produce a product from the waste, however that product is only ever going to be chip and the volumes you are likely to be producing and the low price paid per m3 present a challenge.

 

Of course it is feasible and your brainstorming in your own time and sound-boarding off others would provide one of the best solutions. The whole process has to be mechanised of course or it would be a 100% non starter.

 

However as you know only a desktop study will inform you wether it can be profitable to harvest and extract the product, cross-load to roadside transport, then transport and deliver to the consumer.

 

I am dubious that sufficient customers are out there in the right location - fair amount of effort in researching the market then ! The few that are won't be paying upfront or on delivery I doubt. 

 

I would like to be proved incorrect - but in this instance I think the effort required and the low ROI  gives the message that this is one to pass on.

 

I have learn't that time is a finite resource and I now, often with difficulty, focus on my main core business as other avenues of revenue, unless self managing, only serve to dilute my focus and kill any potential free time.

 

That's only my take on this and I may well be missing a key factor in your plan. 😃

 

 

 

Edited by arboriculturist
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2 hours ago, LGP Eddie said:

What’s the Forwarder?

 

Eddie.

Logbullet mini forwarder - all the details are on their website.

 

Thanks for all the insightful responses. I feel I may be on a hiding to nothing, but I feel that without explorative discourse, I'd just keep doing the same old same old. I like brainstorming ideas, even if they are daft!

 

Back to the drawing board!

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It's good to question these things. Sooner or later the value of firewood is going to be too high to leave brash to rot. Branch loggers need to have some stoves developed to make the most of them IMO

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